On Friday, Souths Cares’ Deadly Youth Mentoring Program hosted a group activity in the Royal National Park as an incentive for mentees who have been engaging with the program and achieving their goals.

Five participants joined Deadly Youth Mentor, Yileen Gordon for an action-packed day which commenced with a fishing workshop at Bundeena Jetty. The group learnt about the fundamentals of fishing including understanding fishing equipment, making fishing rigs, specific baits for target species, casting and safety.

The group then had lunch at the jetty, followed by a swim at Bundeena Beach. The overcast and rainy conditions did not deter the boys, with everyone enjoying the picturesque location and warm water.

After lunch, the group completed a silent walk along Jibbon Beach as a way to pay respect to past generations of ancestors who lived in the local area, before exploring Aboriginal rock engravings at Jibbon headland. The engravings depict whales, kangaroos, a stingray and a spiritual figure and are estimated to be well over 1,000 years old.

Deadly Youth Mentees participating in a fishing workshop at Bundeena Jetty.

The boys then participated in a circle yarn to share some of their goals for 2023, strategies to achieve their goals and how to overcome potential roadblocks.

The activity finished with another swim at Jibbon Beach before the boys were returned home safely in the Souths Cares Van.

Yileen Gordon, Deadly Youth Mentor explained connecting with culture is an important part of the mentoring program.

“It was a great opportunity for the boys to learn more about our culture and to do some fishing at beautiful Bundeena which is located on Dharawal country.

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city life and connecting as a group whilst participating in culturally significant activities is a fundamental part of the Deadly Youth Mentoring Program”, Yileen said.

Charlie Haines is a participant in the program and enjoyed the opportunity to explore the Royal National Park and learn some new skills.

“The best parts of the day were having a swim at Jibbon Beach and having a go at fishing. It was great to learn about different types of fish and how we can catch them!”, Charlie said.

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